An experimental test rig has been used to analyze the lift-off condition of a squeeze film thrust bearing. It is composed of a vibrating flat plate linked to a piezo-actuator, a cylindrical mass, and two displacement sensors. The frequency and magnitude of oscillation are varied as well as the mass of the solid, to identify the lift-off conditions. The experimental results are compared to numerical simulations. The model solves the transient compressible Reynolds equation coupled with Newton's law for the levitated mass. The model is then used to extend the experimental results to other operating conditions. A dimensionless analysis of the results is performed to study the lift-off conditions and the average film thickness during levitation.

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